Family Game Night In the Wake of a Successful Writing Contest

We have a tradition of family game night in our house. Actually, “tradition” is a little strong. We made a commitment to devote Friday nights to this purpose, but our success rate is about 40-50%. (AKA “better than nothing!”) It’s supposed to be a no-technology night. But the kids have been begging for a “family…

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The Babies I’ll Never Have

It is Saturday afternoon and I am folding baby clothes—new, soft, tiny baby clothes—and layering them lovingly into a gift box for one of our choir members. I had forgotten how much I love baby clothes. I love everything about babies. You know, I don’t even hate the diaper changes. Did I get tired of…

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Mental Space (or: Why I Had Such A Hard Summer)

We didn’t go on any field trips this year. This has been bothering me all summer. For the last several years, this has been the structure of our summers, and it’s something the kids look forward to. As the summer unfolded, I couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t make it work. There was really nothing…

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What A Weekend Away Does For A Marriage

We went to the Adirondacks this weekend—just the two of us. We knew it would be a good thing to take some concentrated time as a couple, but getting the bases covered was quite the logistical production. By the time we left I was not so much excited as I was just hoping and praying…

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Time To Breathe

I don’t take enough time off. Which is more than a bit ironic, given how much I twit my husband about checking email and working from home. The great thing about writing from home is that I can do it anywhere, any time, in the cracks of regular life. That’s also the worst thing about…

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Handling Change With Grace

One of the things I’ve always admired about my parents is how gracefully they have passed from one stage of life, of parenthood, to the next. They moved quietly and without drama from being parents of littles to parents of school kids and then teens, and then college kids, and then finally into the empty…

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On Any Given Sunday….

On any given Sunday, you might be sitting in the front row at Mass, trying to look like a respectable family who actually has any business giving a presentation on faithful parenting later that afternoon, when your three-year-old flings himself to the floor and wails. And when asked what’s wrong, his response might be: “I’m…

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Things I Don’t Want To Forget

Things I Don’t Want To Forget: Michael saying “I want to tuggle with you.” And then getting irritated because I repeat it that way. “No—no! I said, sssssstuggle!” Michael “nursing” (where did he learn to do that?) The way Julianna dissolves into giggles at the silliest pieces of nothing. The way every one of the children has…

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Lifting The Veil

Saturday morning, Christian and I provided music for a funeral at our parish. The man was our age and had school-age children, and it was impossible to avoid the recognition of just how fragile is the reality we cling to, how quickly it can change, and truly, how blessed we are to have what we have–even…

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